New brand unveiled by CSUMB

Stationary Mockup using Cal State Monterey Bay branding

April 4, 2024

By Mark Muckenfuss

Cal State Monterey Bay has a new and stronger brand presence. 

On Thursday, April 4, CSUMB leadership rolled out new logos, new banners and a new style at a ceremony in the foyer of the Otter Student Union. They also announced a new slogan: The Strength of Us.

“Through the strength in each of you, together we create ‘The Strength of Us,’’ CSUMB President Vanya Quiñones said to about 300 people who packed the space to see the new look, pick up some free branded T-shirts, hats and sunglasses, and enjoy some cake.

Quiñones told the gathering that the new branding was the result of months' worth of work that included surveys and focus group meetings with faculty, staff, students, alumni, prospective students and their families, and the local community. 

“I want to thank all of our community members who have provided input and feedback into this process for the last 10 months,” Quiñones said. “We asked people to share words that describe our campus.”

Those words included the following: 

  • Supportive
  • Inclusive
  • Transformative
  • Inspiring
  • Approachable
  • Down-to-earth
  • Connected
  • Striving for excellence

“It is encouraging that the survey responses agree with our perception,” Quiñones said. “Now we have a cohesive, clear brand framework that allows us to communicate these positive traits consistently with all of our university stakeholders.”

Aaron Bryant, assistant vice president of Marketing and Communications, spearheaded the campaign. He described the new logo as a simpler design that incorporates elements of the Monterey Bay region both in its use of color and a wave graphic. The face of the otter mascot has also been reimagined and has a more appealing presence. 

This new iteration will be used to show school spirit and makes room for new ways to celebrate what it means to be a Cal State Monterey Bay Otter,” Bryant said. 

He said new lettering fonts and a stronger photo style will work to better tell the story of the university. 

April Lugo, a third-year marine biology major, said she appreciated the cleaner design of the new logo. 

“It’s more modernistic,” Lugo said, “minimalistic, I would say. I feel the school is changing with the times.” 

Natalie Phan is in her third year as a business administration student. She called the new design “very smooth.”

“A lot of people don’t know our school exists,” Phan said. “We need this to get more recognition.”

In addition, the CSUMB website also has a new look, as part of a complete overhaul. 

“Re-building from the ground up, we are redesigning and reauthoring the entire web experience,” Bryant said, “focusing on the needs of prospective students in the college selection process and our current students’ top informational and support needs.”  

Two new videos (video 1; video 2) spotlight the attributes of the campus. And more is on the way, Bryant said, including a new brand marketing campaign.

“There is so much more to come,” he said.